This is my review of JJ Abrams’ first Trek movie. It was part of my birthday post back in 2009. That one went up on the MySpace blog and has never been reposted here, so I thought I would put it up today as a sort of companion to my review of the new movie. I did something similar with GI Joe: Retaliation, only it came off as kind of awkward because I stuck that in the middle of the review. So this time you get two separate posts.
Come back later today for my review of Into Darkness.
Man, I’m not even sure how to go about writing this one. I just want to keep saying “awesome”, and that doesn’t do anybody any good.
I’m going to start off with the only two negatives in the whole movie just to calm myself down a little bit. The first is the use of the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage at the beginning of the movie. It really seemed weird and out of place, even though it would realistically be a classic rock-type song at the time the movie takes place. It was just kind of jarring to hear that in a Star Trek movie, though I guess not wholly inappropriate. The second issue is that I’m not sure it was explained why Scotty went with Kirk. I’ll have to pay closer attention to that part next time I see the movie, which hopefully will be soon.
The cast is great. Everybody nails their character without doing an impersonation of the original crew. I went into the movie not wanting to like the guy playing Kirk, but I loved him after a mere five minutes of screen time. My impression before seeing the film was that the actor looked like kind of a douchebag, but it occurred to me after seeing his great portrayal of Iowa’s biggest man-whore that Kirk is kind of a douchebag. The kind you like to see doing awesome stuff like starting fights with Starfleet cadets, Romulans, Vulcans and pretty much everybody. As a matter of fact, Kirk’s main value to the plot seems to be pissing people off. And that’s okay. I even thought Eric Bana was tremendous and I haven’t had any use for him since his God-awful Hulk movie. Everybody else is great, and since I don’t want this to just turn into a list of actors and how awesome they are, let’s move along to the story.
The story is great. The pacing is so solid you never have a moment to relax. There is always something going on that requires your attention. Every single character is thoroughly outlined and given something important to do. Not even the old original cast movies – which are some of my all-time favorite movies; even the odd-numbered ones – put so much care into making each primary crew member seem crucial. The overall story is just mind-blowing. Not only did the writers manage to reboot the whole franchise from the start (If you don’t include Enterprise. And I don’t.), they also did it in a way that respects and cherishes what has gone before. If you are even a casual fan of Star Trek, there are so many call-outs in this movie that you won’t even be able to remember them all. Also – don’t ever fuck with Romulans. Ever. They will absolutely ruin your day.
There really isn’t any point in discussing the technical aspects of the movie. Regardless of your opinion of J.J. Abrams, the guy knows his stuff. Effects, cinematography, production design; all of those things are outstanding. The new bridge looks so fucking cool I wanted to go out and buy the playset immediately. I also like the sneeze shield in the transporter room. You can’t ever be too careful. The costumes are great, too. They are instantly recognizable but completely updated.
J.J. Abrams says he wasn’t even a Trek fan when he signed on, but he has still managed to put together one amazing love letter to Gene Roddenberry. Go see this movie as soon as you possibly can. Not only is it a great starting point for new fans, it actually serves as a beautiful conclusion to old stories for existing fans. The galaxy is now full of fresh, new possibilities.
5 out of 5 Immolated Redshirts